Veterans hiring reaches new heights

The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday released new data showing hiring of veterans increased in fiscal 2011.

Veterans accounted for 28.5 percent of total hires in fiscal 2011, based on OPM's preliminary data -- a 2.9 percentage point increase over the previous year's veterans hiring levels and 4.5 percentage points higher than fiscal 2009. The 2011 figure is the highest in more than 20 years, OPM said.

Additionally, 22 of the 24 agencies in the President's Veterans Employment Initiative posted percentages above their fiscal 2009 baselines; 23 of those 24 also met their goals for total hires of disabled veterans, according to the new data.

The President's Council on Veterans Employment also approved a pilot program for employing formerly homeless veterans. Each of the 24 Cabinet level agencies in the council committed to hiring up to two formerly homeless veterans, beginning in the spring of 2012.

"The President's Council on Veterans Employment established and pursued aggressive goals, and for our veterans, meeting those goals means jobs that serve the American people and help sustain the growth that supports the propriety and leadership in the world," OPM Director John Berry said.

Efforts to hire veterans intensified in 2009, when President Obama issued an executive order creating Veterans Employment Program offices within agencies. The order also established the Council on Veterans Employment.

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